Sight occurs along a pathway beginning with the eyeball, running through the optic nerve, and ending in the brain. Problems can occur anywhere along this pathway. For example, in the eyeball, proteins in your crystalline lens can age, leading to cloudy vision, also called cataracts.
Vision experts in the Sutter Health network recommend a baseline screening for eye disease at age 40. If you’ve got troubling symptoms, ophthalmologists can sleuth out the cause with up-to-date diagnostic tests, including the following:
- Eye and Orbital Ultrasound — Uses a small probe to diagnose retinal detachment or tumors, or to determine intraocular lens implant needs before cataract surgery.
- Fluorescein Angiography — Uses a special dye that your doctor tracks to assess blood flow in the eye vessels.
- Keratometry — Measures the cornea to determine the extent of astigmatism and prescribe contact lenses, glasses or intraocular lenses for cataract surgery.
- Perimetry — Measures your vision’s characteristics, such as color, texture, edges and contrast, to diagnose diseases of the eye, optic nerve and central nervous system.
- Tonometry — Measures pressure inside the eye to screen for glaucoma and optic nerve atrophy.
- Optical Coherence Tomography — Uses light waves to help your doctor see the different layers of your retina and measure its thickness.
If you develop cataracts, ophthalmologists use advanced instruments and mathematical formulas, called biometrics and intraocular lens calculations, to determine the exact strength of implants you’ll need to replace your damaged lenses.
When tests indicate a retinal disorder such as macular degeneration, retinoblastoma or a retinal detachment, your ophthalmologist may perform an electroretinography exam, placing an electrode on each eye to measure the electrical activity of the retina in response to light.